" We saw EDIE as a great opportunity to enhance dementia education by incorporating the latest technology to create an increased awareness of what the person might be going through. "
Virtual reality set to revolutionise NSW dementia training

People living with dementia in NSW will benefit from increased levels of carer empathy and understanding, thanks to innovative new training being offered by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.

Enabling EDIE is a series of three-hour workshops for professionals who work with people impacted by dementia, incorporating recently-launched virtual reality smartphone app EDIE.

The ground-breaking technology uses Samsung VR Gear to offer a high quality virtual reality experience that enables participants to see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia. Coupled with input from expert facilitators, the training aims to inspire practice change that will ultimately leave people with dementia feeling more engaged, supported and empowered.

The program is heading to NSW from its original home in Victoria, where it has been received positively by both professional and family carers.

“We have long been excited about the potential technology has for enhancing the wellbeing of people living with dementia,” said Sophie Hennessy, Projects Manager Client Services, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.

“In recent years, we have invested heavily in developing technologies that will impact positively on dementia care. With EDIE, we wanted to develop something accessible and portable, un-restricted by location, so as many people as possible would benefit,” Ms Hennessy said.

“EDIE has allowed us to take industry-leading dementia education technology across the state and beyond. The very nature of it means people become individually immersed in the virtual world, meaning everyone gets their own unique experience. For that reason, it feels much more personal and highly impactful. In Victoria, we have developed two programs: a workshop for health professionals and a program for delivery through our support and counselling program with family carers.”

Susan McCarthy, General Manager, Services, Policy and Research at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW said the team is thrilled to have been able to bring the technology to NSW.

“We know increased levels of understanding and empathy can result from having actually experienced something, rather than simply being told about it,” Ms McCarthy said.

“We saw EDIE as a great opportunity to enhance dementia education by incorporating the latest technology to create an increased awareness of what the person might be going through. This will equip participants with a fresh perspective on the communication techniques, environmental adjustments and support strategies that can impact most positively on people living with dementia.

“Because EDIE is focused on the experiences of one person, the technology encourages participants to see each person with dementia as an individual with distinct wants and needs. That is vital for encouraging a more person-centred approach to dementia care.”

Enabling EDIE workshops will be conducted from Alzheimer’s Australia NSW premises at Port Macquarie, Hamilton and North Ryde throughout 2017. They can also be conducted at your own workplace. To enquire, email nsw.education@alzheimers.org.au

 Posted: February 1st, 2017
Discussion

Dementia Daily Team said:

Hi Sandy, I'll ask our Education Team to email you about this. Alternatively, you can also send them an email on nsw.education@alzheimers.org.au Thanks so much for your interest. Sarah - The Dementia Daily Team

Sandy said:

I would be very interested in attending a workshop when they are available in NSW, any in regional areas?

Tim said:

This is excellent news congratulations to the team bringing this to NSW. As someone who has lost an immediate family member to this cruel disease and been working with virtual reality technology for the last 12 months I know firsthand how beneficial this technology can be for empathetic learning. So well done !

Dementia Daily Team said:

Hi Colleen, I'll ask our team in the Education Department to get in touch with you. We have your email address. Thanks, Sarah - The Dementia Daily Team

Colleen said:

Could you send me training dates and times

Dementia Daily Team said:

Hi Leanne, It is in NSW and our team would love to talk to you about it. Please email them at nsw.education@alzheimers.org.au Thanks, Sarah - The Dementia Daily Team

leanne said:

I would like to get the information when it arrives in nsw.

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